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Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Science & Basic Tech. - Aeronautical Science and Basic Technology Research

JAXA Aeronautical Technology Directorate plays an important role in pursuing fundamental research that will lead to new technologies, and continuously enhances its experimental and analytical capabilities to support aviation and space research activities both of JAXA and industry.

Through carrying out fundamental research into aerodynamics, engines, materials and structures, numerical analysis, and flight mechanics, as well as by maintaining and enhancing Japan's large-scale test facilities, JAXA Aeronautical Technology Directorate supports diverse research and development activities in space and the sky from behind the scene.

Integrated simulation technology

Establishing technologies to predict actual aircraft characteristics with higher accuracy and reliability will help the Japanese aerospace industry make further progress. JAXA is therefore developing wide-ranging integrated simulation technology that includes not only computer-based numerical simulation but also ground testing (wind tunnel tests, static engine tests, and structural tests) and fl ight tests.
Integrated simulation technology is a very broad concept, but JAXA has decided to focus on airframe-related technologies as a starting point and work to extend the capability of numerical simulation and measurement technologies for unsteady and complicated phenomena observed on aircraft.

Aerodynamic prediction of actual fl ight(system concept)

Research into structures and materials

Before new and advanced composite materials and structures can be widely used in aerospace, it is essential to accumulate thorough knowledge of how they behave, both in the laboratory and in actual operating environment. JAXA researches and develops new structural design techniques and processing methods for composite materials. This includes creating and testing materials incorporating nanotechnology, developing manufacturing techniques to produce small-scale components, fabricating and evaluating full-scale aerospace parts, and fl ight demonstration to evaluate their performance.
JAXA is also contributing to the standardization of testing of materials (JIS and ISO standards) to enhance the competitiveness of Japanese aerospace industry in the global market.

Flight demonstration test of a composite speed brake fabricated using out-ofautoclave curing methods.
It is 40% lighter than a conventional aluminum alloy part,
while having the same level of strength and functionality.

Aerodynamic technology

To provide higher-accuracy and higher-quality test data more efficiently by advancing wind tunnel technologies, and to assist in the development of technology for improving aerodynamic performance, JAXA makes continuous R&D efforts, thereby contributing to the growth of Japanese aerospace industry and global competitiveness.

Flight technology

JAXA is operating a flight research facility including a research fleet ranging from helicopter to jet airplane, flight test bases, and flight simulators. Using these facilities and technologies, we strive to contribute greatly to our society from short-term and long-term perspectives.

Propulsion technology

To contribute to the enhancement of the international competitiveness of the Japanese aviation industry, we are developing leading-edge technologies for aircraft engines to meet demands for lower fuel consumption and environmental compatibility. Moreover, state-of-the-art technology that eliminates fossil fuel usage while providing high-speed convenience and environmental compatibility is developed and demonstrated in an effort to explore new air transport infrastructure.

Structural / composite materials technology

Equipped with specialized testing devices, the JAXA Advanced Composite Research Center conducts various basic and applied studies, to assess and validate developed materials and structures, aiming at promoting the practical application of composite materials in designing aerospace structures to achieve goals from improving composite materials performance to the development of analysis and demonstration technologies. We also promote the practical use of composite materials through efforts at ISO/JIS standardization for advanced composite material evaluation methods, and through provision of composite material databases for shared use by society at large.

Numerical analysis technology

By improving the efficiency and reliability of numerical analysis technology and by encouraging its practical and effective application for space and aeronautic projects, we are steadily advancing fundamental numerical analysis technology and its peripheral technologies to higher levels while ensuring high usability.

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and operation technology

By researching and developing basic technologies for improving the operational safety and mission capabilities of small UAS, JAXA is helping expand the scope of the technology and contributing to the realization of a safe and prosperous society.

Applied fundamental technology

JAXA is developing applied fundamental technology to enable the application of our accumulated fundamental technology to the design, development, evaluation and certification of aircraft systems, and to revolutionize associated processes. By doing so, we aim to help enhance the international competitiveness of the Japanese aircraft industry.